This category contains 131 posts

Our common lesson format.

This is our attempt to capture the universal expectations and routines.  It emerged from a staff CPD session last year and was agreed by all departments.  It’s sufficiently flexible for everyone whilst providing a consistent framework across the school.  If you can’t read the image, the text is below. (To respond to some of the … Continue reading

More carrot and more stick; more love, more warmth, more discipline.

Ahead of the start of this term, I was reflecting on where we need to go next to raise standards at Highbury Grove.  Everywhere I look to find schools that are doing better than we are by some measure I see that they appear to be more disciplined; they secure stronger engagement with their expectations; … Continue reading

Watching your children grow up and then leave home…

Last weekend we took our daughter to university – an exciting and emotional moment in our lives.  Watching her become the person she is over the last 18 years has been the greatest joy and privilege; a wonderful experience. She’s an amazing person;  we’re immensely proud of her  – and we’re going to miss her. … Continue reading

I voted for Owen Smith. Here’s why.

I grew up in a Labour-voting family; I’ve voted Labour in every election I could and I’ve been a member for several years. I’m not a Tory.  As a Sixth Former and young adult I loved Neil Kinnock – his opposition to Thatcher and the Falklands war were heroic; a real inspiration to me. I also loved … Continue reading

My brilliant SLT: Ready for action.

In the two years since joining Highbury Grove, in common with any new Headteacher, one of my main priorities has been to build the leadership team.  This is partly to do with getting effective people on board and partly about getting them in the right places in a structure that serves the needs of the … Continue reading

Promoting Cultural Capital: We are naming our classrooms.

As part of a long-term, school-wide initiative to develop our students’ cultural capital, we are going to be giving each of the spaces in our school an identity linked to a significant person.  Each department has been asked to select people who represent their subjects, blending historical and contemporary figures and seeking to achieve a … Continue reading

Exam grading is inherently flawed; but there’s no conspiracy.

    To put this post in context, previously I have written various other posts about the nature of exam grading, the way OfQual operates, the bell-curve of norm referencing and its role in setting standards, the degree of error that is inherent in any assessment and grading process.  Here is a selection: https://headguruteacher.com/2013/08/31/ofqual-insights-more-thoughts-on-exams/ https://headguruteacher.com/2014/05/27/the-assessment-uncertainty-principle/Continue reading

A Free School on our doorstep? I have some questions….

  Just before the end of the summer term, I was tipped off that an architect’s website was showing the development pictured above.  They suggested it was to include a 750 place secondary, a 250 place sixth form and residential units.  I contacted the Local Authority officers who knew nothing about it.  Subsequently, this development … Continue reading

Happy Holidays

The Joy of Teaching SRE

I’ve written about teaching SRE before – in this post and in this piece for the Guardian Teacher Network.  It remains one of my favourite lessons to teach for lots of reasons.  Mainly it is because students are so curious and happy to be engaging with the content which is very rewarding.  It feels like … Continue reading

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St Jude Songs. And others.